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Covid-19 Pandemic Should Not Be Used to Silence Dissent

On June 26, police in Manila arrested at least 20 people at an LGBT Pride event protesting an anti-terrorism bill that threatens rule of law in the Philippines. The police did not explain why they were arresting the protesters, only telling them…
Police arrest protesters during a Pride march in Manila, Philippines, June 26, 2020.
News

LGBT People Ordered to Dance and Kiss on Video

The spread of COVID-19 has given Philippines law enforcement broad discretion to enforce public health measures. When discrimination is added to the mix, that unfettered power can be particularly demeaning and dehumanizing for…
Screenshots of videos showing humiliation of LGBT people amid coronavirus curfew in Pandacaqui, Pampanga province, Philippines, April 5, 2020.
News

Lawmakers Should Recognize Equal Marriage Rights for LGBT Couples

The Philippine Supreme Court heard a long-awaited argument on Tuesday that could open the door to same-sex marriage in the overwhelmingly Catholic country. The case, which was filed by a gay lawyer named Jesus Falcis in 2015…
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News

Ordinance Should Prod Passage of National Anti-Discrimination Legislation

The Philippine city of Mandaluyong has approved an ordinance to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination, the latest in a slew of local laws passed across the country. …
Supporters wave rainbow flags while marching during a LGBT Pride parade in metro Manila, Philippines June 25, 2016.
News

Presidential ‘Joke’ Sets Back Reproductive Health Efforts

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte demonstrated reckless disregard for the health of Filipinos this week by suggesting they avoid using condoms because they “aren’t pleasurable.” During an address to returning overseas migrant workers…
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News

Fully Implement and Enforce the Reproductive Health Law

The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has effectively lifted a supreme court order in 2015 temporarily banning 51 female hormonal contraceptive products by determining that they do not induce abortion. The FDA action…
201711Asia_Philippines_BirthControl Women listen during a family planning lecture by a Likhaan NGO health worker at a reproductive health clinic in Tondo, metro Manila, Philippines January 12, 2016.
News

Condoms Needed in High Schools to Curb HIV Transmission

Philippine officials, led by Senator Vicente Sotto III, have vowed to block a plan by the Department of Health to start distributing condoms to students as part of its efforts to stem the spread of HIV. The health department plan recognizes that the…
Students receive free condoms at an event organized by the United Nations Population Fund in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, July 11, 2014.
News

Improved Condom Access Essential to Address HIV Epidemic

The Philippine government has restored funding to service Filipinos’ reproductive health needs, most significantly for the estimated 13.4 million women who rely on government-supplied contraceptive products. The long-overdue move…
An NGO health worker holds contraceptive pills during a family planning session with housewives availing free pills in Tondo, Manila August 6, 2012.
News

Bill Aims to Address Systemic Discrimination

The long-delayed move to extend legal protection to Philippines’ lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community got a boost this week.  On Monday, Geraldine Roman, who in May 2016 became the first transgender person ever elected to…
Supporters hold placards while marching under a rainbow flag during a LGBT Pride parade in metro Manila, Philippines June 25, 2016.
News
The Philippine government has taken a serious step backward in its obligation to protect maternal health, reduce infant mortality, and prevent the spread of HIV. Last week, the Philippine Congress eliminated funding in the 2016…
An NGO health worker holds contraceptive pills during a family planning session with housewives availing free pills in Tondo, Manila August 6, 2012.
News
Philippine Senator Vicente Sotto III may have his way in scuttling a study on needle exchange, which is designed to reverse the rise of HIV infection among people who inject drugs. Giving clean needles to intravenous drug users, he argued in the Senate,…